Nationwide Building Society

Nationwide Building Society

October 20, 2006 04:00 ET

An Extra Eye to Watch Your Kids - Nationwide Extends Road Safety Campaign To 2010

SWINDON, UNITED KINGDOM--(CCNMatthews - Oct. 20, 2006) - Nationwide Building Society has today announced it is to extend its child road safety campaign to 2010. The Society will distribute one million pedestrian safety reflectors, known as "Cats' Eyes", per year to every new intake of Year One primary school children in the country.

As the clocks go back on Sunday 29 October, millions of school children across the UK will be making their journeys home from school in much darker conditions. With Nationwide's pledge to extend the Cats' Eyes for Kids campaign to 2010 it is hoped the programme's outstanding success will continue and so help to keep children safer in the dark winter months.

Each reflector works by lighting up into a bright "Cats' Eye" as soon as a car's headlight catches it. By attaching a reflector to a school bag or coat using the clip provided, children will increase their chances of being seen by motorists. A child pedestrian, whilst wearing a Cats' Eye reflector, can be visible at between 150 and 200 metres to a driver using low beam headlights. This is compared to only 30 metres visibility without a reflector. Giving the motorist 6 seconds longer to decelerate and avoid the child.

Nationwide's campaign, which has run since 2001 and involved distributing over 11 million reflectors, supports the Government's objective of reducing child road casualties. A recent Government announcement revealed that the number of child pedestrians killed or seriously injured in road accidents in 2005 fell by 49% when compared to the baseline average 1994-1998. This means that the Government has nearly achieved its target, announced in the year 2000, of reducing the number of children killed or seriously injured on the roads by 50% by the year 2010 (when compared to the baseline average 1994-1998).

To help increase children's awareness and understanding of the importance of road safety, Nationwide has also produced curriculum-linked road safety worksheets which are available via http://www.nationwide.co.uk together with links to other useful road safety websites.

Stuart Bernau, executive director at Nationwide, said: "With the return of long winter nights, our children face greater risks on our roads. For the sixth year, we're delighted to support the government's successful campaign to reduce the number of child casualties. We are also encouraging children who received reflectors in the last five years to use them again this winter. As a building society, Nationwide has a long tradition of active involvement in communities throughout the UK and there can be no better way of investing in these communities than by protecting the lives of children. It is therefore with great pleasure that I can also announce that we are committing to extend our campaign to 2010, thus also protecting even more children and their families from the devastating impact of being involved in a road traffic accident."

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NOTES TO EDITORS

In October 2001, over 6 million reflectors were delivered to primary school children through Nationwide's Cats' Eyes Scheme. This year, like the last five years, reflectors and teaching resource packs will be distributed throughout the UK to Year One children at primary schools. Reflectors will not be available through Nationwide branches, but directly distributed to eligible pupils through individual primary schools.

Working in conjunction with Swindon Borough Council and the DFT, the pilot project was launched in Swindon in October 2000 when 20,000 primary school children received a pedestrian reflector. Each of their teachers received a pack of Key Stage 1/2 worksheets for classroom use in promoting road safety and visibility issues.

A child pedestrian is visible at 30 metres with low beam headlights (ca. 1.2 seconds reaction time at 50mph). A child pedestrian wearing a reflector is visible at 150 to 200 metres with low beam headlights (ca. 7 seconds reaction time at 50mph). Pedestrian reflectors have been used successfully in Scandinavian/Nordic countries for more than 30 years. According to research, children there are eight times safer (source: Central Organisation for Traffic Safety in Finland) with a reflector than without.

In 2002, Nationwide Building Society was awarded the prestigious Prince Michael International Road Safety Award in recognition of its outstanding commitment, and contribution, to road safety.

Nationwide has also been awarded the celebrated BRAKE Community Safety Award in 2001 and the Business in the Community 'Big Tick' for two years.

The European Road Safety Charter has accepted Nationwide as a signatory.

Road Casualties Great Britain 2005 - figures are published annually and information can be found at -
http://www.dft.gov.uk/stellent/groups/dft_transstats/documents/page/dft_transstats_611922.hcsp

Nationwide also has an award winning Internet site: www.nationwide.co.uk

For studio quality interviews Nationwide is equipped with an ISDN system using G722 and APTX codes for both BBC and IR links: ISDN Number: 01793 845014

Nationwide Press Office Tel: 01793 655198 / Fax: 01793 65504 / Website: www.nationwide.co.uk/mediacentre

Contact Information

  • Nationwide Building Society
    Phil Tubbs
    Community and Environmental Affairs Manager
    01793 657315
    or
    Nationwide Building Society
    Jennifer Williams
    Media Relations Manager
    01793 655203